Listing Glossary Terms 1 to 20 (out of 29)


Literally a Sanskrit word for 'tree', gaccha is used by Śvetāmbara Mūrti-pūjak Jains to describe the largest groups of their mendicant lineages. It is often translated as 'monastic group', 'monastic order' or 'monastic tradition'. These groups are formed when some mendicants split from their gaccha because of disagreements over ascetic practices.


In modern usage, a small monastic unit. In older sources it could refer to a large division of mendicant lineages. Śvetāmbara Terāpanthin use the term for their undivided mendicant community.


'Supporters of the order'. This term is used for the first mendicant disciples of a Jina. They are able to understand his teachings properly and can pass them on. A gaṇadhara leads his own group of ascetics until he becomes enlightened.


Debates between Mahāvīra and his disciples, during which Mahāvīra explained his philosophy.


The elephant-headed Hindu god, who is popular among believers in many Indian religions. He is known as the remover of obstacles, a god of new beginnings and patron of arts and sciences, intellect and wisdom. He is commonly invoked by Jain authors and scribes.


A religious title for a monk in charge of a small group of mendicants, who live and travel together. A gaṇinī is a nun who leads a group of female mendicants. 


Originally from Gujarat, garba is a form of folk dance popular all over India and among the diaspora. Meaning 'womb' or a type of lamp in Sanskrit, the garba was initially a devotional dance performed by women at night to improve fertility. The dancers whirl and move in circles around the central point, traditionally where an image of the goddess Durga was placed, though there are many variants today.




The inner room of a temple, where the main image of a Jina sits. 


A large vulture-like bird, which is the divine vehicle of the yakṣī Cakreśvarī and also of the Hindu god Viṣṇu. Garuḍa is the enemy of snakes.


Type of destiny, mode of rebirth in the cycle of rebirth. There are four:

  • god
  • human being
  • animal
  • infernal being.

Also one of the 14 'gateways' or categories of investigation of mārgaṇā or 'soul-quest'.


Unit of heredity within an organism. A gene contains information:

  • to create and maintain the cells of a living being
  • on the characteristics passed from parent to child.

Study of the genome. The genome is all the genetic material of a living being, which is inherited from parents when the organism is the result of sexual reproduction.


'Destructive karmans'. These karmans ‘cover’ and weaken the qualities of the soul in four ways:

  • obscuring perception - jñāna-āvarṇiya
  • blocking knowledge - darṣana-āvarṇiya
  • creating the delusion of false knowledge - mohaniya-āvarṇiya
  • blocking effort, even though knowledge and intention exist - antarāya-āvarṇiya.

Four 'destructive' types of karma, which affect the innate qualities of the soul and thus hinder the path to liberation. They are:

  1. arśana-āvaraṇīya-karma – blocks the soul's perception – darśana
  2. jñāna-āvaraṇīya-karma – obscures the soul's knowledge – jñāna
  3. antarāya-karma – dampens the soul's energy – vīrya
  4. mohanīya-karma – clouds the soul's bliss – sukha.

Turkish dynasty based in Central Asia from 977 to 1186, which periodically controlled parts of the Indian subcontinent.

Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq

Founder of the Tughlaq dynasty, one of the Delhi Sultanates, in 1320. He ruled until 1324.


Central Asian dynasty that established the Delhi Sultanate in 1206.


To explain or translate a word or phrase in a text. A glossary is a collection of such explanations. A gloss may be a short note in the margin or between the lines of a text or it may be an extended commentary.


Third of the four 'non-destructive' or 'neutral' types of karma, which sets the status of the body, for example high or low social status in the case of human beings.

Listing Glossary Terms 1 to 20 (out of 29) - All text is © JAINpedia / Institute of Jainology 2019 under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 licence The Jain universe online at

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